What if you were rich?


There seem to be more and more millionaires coming out of the nicely paneled woodwork to tell us that they should pay higher taxes.  I heard one of these folks on NPR yesterday and she was talking about what made her happy in life. She's loaded, young, and could have anything she wanted, but what she said made a lot of sense: She said she would be better off and a lot happier if everyone in the country had access to decent housing, enough to eat, quality transportation and a chance at a good education. 

So I started thinking about it, I guess there's a reason that I'm a horrible capitalist, because I totally agree with her. If I hit the lottery ...  well (geek alert), I've had my eye on that cool Visconti lava fountain pen, but there's really not of lot of stuff that I want. And maybe I'm not that odd - maybe most people really don't want isn't Michael Moore's mansion (gawd, who would keep it clean? I can't even get the dog hair off the floor of my little place in Bernal Heights). Maybe most of us want to make sure our family has a place to live and there's money for the kids to go to college and medical care for our aging parents and a job that's not awful.

What else do I want? I want to be able to ride high-speed rail to L.A. instead of driving the car on I-5 on Thanksgiving week. I want the kids to be able to take buses directly to school so I don't have to drive them. I want more nudity on TV (well, that's not really about money, I guess). I want the rec centers and libraries to be open every day and on the weekends, and I want them to have great programs, and I want to have more swim classes at the public pools so I don't have to pay to send my daughter to the YMCA, and I want to be able to see a doctor when my leg hurts without waiting a month for a manged-care appointment. A nice fishing boat would be cool, but I could share.

Seriously: I'm like the rich girl on NPR (kind of): Most of what I want is stuff that the government ought to be providing to everyone anyway. If only she and the rest of the rich people in the country, who already have everything they want, were paying fair taxes. I got no problem with people wanting to be the next Bill Gates, and even in a really good capitalist system (is that possible?) there will always be rich people, and I suppose the desire for financial success drives progress.

But wouldn't we all be better if ... we were all better? What would you want if you were rich?

And if I do hit the lottery, do I get a tax deduction on the boat?


Just a room in a shack with a garden outside. A little place of my own in which to write my stories and poems. In San Francisco, of course. And lots of free time... There's no greater wealth than freedom~

Spread the wealth!

Posted by Lisa on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

more public skateboard parks / spots in the city. less skatestoppers at the civic center library (they kick the youth out who used to enjoy it after hours by strapping pieces of metal on the ledges, the crackheads return and the exercising youth disappear)

Posted by travis knapp-prasek on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 5:30 pm
Posted by Jonathan Frieman on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

I would go back to that rag-tag little school I dropped out of and make sure that each and every year at least two of the high achieving, lowest of the low income students get a free ride to the school of their choice. I would give the other students the books, computers, field trips and other advantages that the schools just up the hill had. I would give them the drive and opportunity to give back to the rest of the community for what they had been given. In fact in order to receive this blessing I would make it a requirement that they do just that. I would make sure that they aren't bitter about the past. That they grow strong of heart and mind, no lip service, honest civic minded give back.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

I love it and will add it to my wish list. :-)

Posted by Lisa on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

The average SF home is worth 700K so throw in your IRA and 401K and, bingo, you're a millionaire. But I don't feel "rich" and certainly don't have these "blue sky" options.

A million is "just getting by" these days and probably 5% of the nation and 25% of SF'ers qualify by that definition.

These days, "rich" starts at 5 million.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 7:05 am

You're an asshole.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

If I were rich, I would subsidize an editing position at the Guardian.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 7:30 am

and the Grateful Dead were playing. He vowed to change the world...as soon as he came down, man...

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

And I even have the tie-dye t-shirts. And they still fit. And my kids won't let me wear them. And I'm still not rich.

Posted by tim on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

Lottery winnings aren't subject to state or local tax. Only federal income tax. I'm surprised you haven't written about that given how much you like taxation.

Posted by The Commish on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

Don't know what I was on yesterday. Here's what I really want~ Free (K - college) public education, Single payer health care, Union-wage jobs, Affordable housing, 35-hour work week, a full month yearly vacation~ ya know, just the shit they had in Europe before the coup d'etat by the bankers and technocrats.

Give me the European dream!

Posted by Lisa on Nov. 16, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

Lisa is a liberal.

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 17, 2011 @ 11:33 am

No, I despise liberals. I am a Socialist. And you are, besides a busybody and a troll, what exactly??

Posted by Lisa on Nov. 17, 2011 @ 4:30 pm